Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Coda, you have a lot of work to do. Your car does not look like it is worth $15,000, much less $40,000.
Coda's biggest problem, I think, is that their car looks like an old Toyota from about 2001.
Coda's second biggest problem is that this thing is put together about like a Chrysler from 2001, or worse. Look at the loose headliner fit. That's not me pulling on it, that's some guy who got into the front seat after I got into the back, and said, "hey, check this out!".
The interior can charitably be called functional. Hard plastics, wide gaps, and cheap feel abound.
The "high-tech" PRNDL knob. It feels about as cheesy as it looks.
The powertrain cutaway was interesting. Here is where most of the $40,000 is: in the wide, flat battery pacj slung under the body.
The face of Coda. Notice the huge gap between the hood and the headlight/fascia. It screams "cheap".
I have no idea how Coda is going to make it. With elegant and refined electric cars in the market such as the Leaf and Focus, as well as the half-gas Volt, Coda looks very weak. They claim to have a 150 mile range, which would be world class. But who will spend $40,000 on an ugly car, made mostly in China, with an unproven record and a minuscule dealer network?
Model S front suspension. Notice the extruded aluminum tubes and cast aluminum suspension arms. This is not a cheap high volume chassis.
Rear suspension and powertrain.
Charging port nicely hidden in rear tail lamp assembly.
Interior with huge LCD and touch screens. I wonder if they are protected against daylight glare?
Sadly, the car was too mobbed at the moment for me to get a clear picture of it. Here is someone elses.
One of the more interesting design models at the Michelin design challenge display.
Michelin sponsored city of the future display, with 3 concept cars that weren't drawing much attention.
Coming soon, much much more...
Monday, January 30, 2012
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Mike Jackson, chief executive of the retail chain AutoNation Inc., said that 75 percent of customers come into his showrooms and want to talk about hybrids. Only about 2.5 percent of AutoNation sales are hybrids.
"What happens from the 75 percent consideration to the 2.5 percent commitment?" Jackson said.
"They look at the price premium for the technology, which is already subsidized and discounted, and say, 'The payback period is too long; not for me.'"
At the point of purchase decision, people notice that the payback time for the hybrid-electric powertrain is on the order of 5 or more years, and the practicality of the vehicle is reduced because of the packaging of the batteries. They also notice that one of the more efficient non-hybrid vehicles, while not as efficient as a hybrid, is pushing 40mpg on the highway.
Hybrid sales slowed last year to 2.2 percent of U.S. sales, from 2.4 percent in 2010, according to researcher LMC Automotive.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Thursday, January 12, 2012
President Barack Obama held up Ford Motor Co. as an example of companies that are contributing to the economy by bringing jobs back into the U.S. — and that should be rewarded for their efforts.
"You've heard of outsourcing. Well, these companies are insourcing," Obama said Wednesday in a speech, surrounded by business executives, state and local officials and union leaders.
Monday, January 9, 2012
Sunday, January 8, 2012
So I bought a couple of bottles to try.
I'm not a trained taster, and I didn't do a scientific grade double blind study. But to my taste, the Mexican coke tasted sweeter, and felt stickier, than what I was used to. I wouldn't pay extra for it.
However, the glass bottles were a revelation. They feel wonderful in the hand, hefty and cold and perfectly curved and balanced. I wouldn't pay more for Mexican Coke, but I would pay more for American Coke in these retro glass bottles!